Before becoming The Bear’s affable restaurant mechanic, Neil Fak, celeb chef, Matthy Matheson had already made waves in the culinary world with various ventures. He starred in Vice’s Munchies and It’s Suppertime, and hosted popular YouTube shows like Cookin’ Somethin’ w/ Matty Matheson and Stupid F***ing Cooking Show. Besides that, he’s authored cookbooks, owns a Parkdale-made clothing line called Rosa Rugosa, co-owns a farm and all the while has built a small but mighty restaurant empire in Toronto and the surrounding area that range in variety from fast-casual to fine dining.
At the star-studded Golden Globes last night, The Bear triumphed with multiple awards, securing the title of Best Comedy Series and marking a stellar night for the show!
In honour of that win, here’s a look at all of Matty Matheson’s restaurants.
2015: Maker Pizza
Celebrity chef Matty Matheson’s pizza joint set out to revolutionize delivery pizza in Toronto by using better ingredients and creative toppings. By all accounts they’ve succeeded because Toronto can’t seem to get enough of Maker’s puffy-crust pies. Pizzas are served on dough that’s handmade from 00 Italian flour and aged for three days. Pizzas are finished with a tomato sauce that has a hint of sweetness along with fresh cheese, and then double baked. Toppings, which range from pork shoulder sugo to chili infused pineapple, are anything but average.
2020: Matty Matheson’s Meat + Three
In the summer of 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Matheson launched a pop-up restaurant named “Matty Matheson’s Meat + Three” in Fort Erie. It focused on American barbecue and took inspiration from the traditional “meat and three” concept. However, the Meat + Three pop-up ceased operations in 2022.
2020: Matty’s Patty’s
Toronto chef and internet celebrity Matty Matheson is not new to flipping burgers. After running as pop-up shops in Japan, Hawaii, and at Matheson’s own food festival, Matty Fest, Matty’s Patty’s Burger Club has set up a permanent home across from Trinity Bellwoods Park. Made with 100 per cent AAA beef sourced from Ontario, Matheson offers single, double, and even triple cheeseburgers topped with sharp American cheese, then served on a sesame seed milk bun.
2021: Birria Balam/Fonda Balam
If the name Fonda Balam rings a bell and the colourful leopards look familiar, that’s because this restaurant is the reincarnated Birria Balam. “Fonda” is a term used in Mexico to describe a family-run restaurant, making it the perfect name for this restaurant concept inspired by a love for travel and the authentic cuisine and culture of Mexico. On the menu, you’ll find all your favourite Mexican comfort foods from guacamole to quesadillas to tacos. Customers can’t get enough of the cheesy quesabirria con consome, a tortilla filled with beef birria, cheese, onion and cilantro. With colourful counter tops and high bar stools, Fonda Balam offers a cozy dining space, decorated with small cactus plants to give it a full Mexican experience. Fonda Balam can be found at the corner of Dundas Street West and Palmerston Avenue.
2022: Cà Phê Rang
In January 2022, Matheson joined forces with his mentor and close friend, Rang Nguyen, to introduce Cà Phê Rang an exciting Vietnamese restaurant. Situated in the previous Chinatown pop-up location of Birria Balam, Toronto, Ca Phe Rang specializes in serving delicious pho and bánh mì.
2022: Prime Seafood Palace
For six years while it was in development, Matty Matheson kept Prime Seafood Palace under wraps. But once opened, there was no keeping this gem a secret. As with all of the other eateries in Matheson’s ever-growing culinary empire, Prime Seafood Palace makes a big statement. Though seafood is in its name, the restaurant also serves up an array of meat and fish dishes like the 20 oz bone-in strip loin and the black pepper crust filet mignon. This restaurant is sleek and calm; it’s the kind of place for guests to relax with a glass of wine (or two) and stay a while. As written in the “Recommended Restaurants” section of the Michelin Guide: “There is nothing like it around.”
2022: Rizzo’s House of Parm
There’s no stopping Matty Matheson. The celebrity chef and actor extraordinaire recently opened Rizzo’s House of Parm in his hometown of Fort Erie, Ontario serving up old-school Italian dishes in a charming family-friendly space. The restaurant is an ode to his wife Patricia’s Italian heritage as well as a nod to his daughter — also named Rizzo. f you have a penchant for big portions and big flavour, get ready for an epic eating adventure. On the menu is a trio of parm plates, including chicken, eggplant and veal ($26) served with a side of spaghetti. Helmed by chef Andy Donofrio (formerly of Meat + Three), there’s also an abundance of classic pasta dishes including linguine and clams ($30), Carol’s chicken cacciatore ($25) and Matty’s bolognese ($22).